Condensed Layer Deposition of Nanoscopic TiO2 Overlayers on High Surface Area Electrocatalysts

07 December 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Encapsulating an electrocatalytic material with a semi-permeable, nanoscopic oxide overlayer offers a promising approach to enhancing its stability, activity, and/or selectivity compared to an unencapsulated electrocatalyst. However, applying nanoscopic oxide encapsulation layers to high surface area electrodes, such as nanoparticle-supported porous electrodes is a challenging task. This study demonstrates that the recently developed condensed layer deposition (CLD) method can be used for depositing nanoscopic (sub-10 nm thick) titanium dioxide (TiO2) overlayers onto high surface area platinized carbon foam electrodes. Characterization of the overlayers by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) showed that the films are amorphous, while X-ray photoelectron microscopy confirmed that they exhibit a TiO2 stoichiometry. Electrodes were also characterized by hydrogen underpotential deposition (Hupd) and carbon monoxide (CO) stripping, demonstrating that the Pt electrocatalysts remain electrochemically active after encapsulation. Additionally, copper underpotential deposition (Cuupd) measurements revealed that TiO2 overlayers are effective at blocking Cu2+ from reaching the TiO2/Pt buried interface and were used to estimate that between 43-98% of Pt surface sites were encapsulated. Overall, this study shows that CLD is a promising approach for depositing nanoscopic protective overlayers on high surface area electrodes.


oxide overlayers
condensed layer deposition
buried interfaces
wet chemical synthesis
titanium oxide

Supplementary materials

This SI document has 8 pages, 7 figures, and 1 table.


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